Wednesday, October 18, 2006

On Vietnam

I once had an interchange with an idiot on who said Iraq and Vietnam were both unwinnable wars short of genocide. I think that is patently absurd. The U.S. military is the best fighting force in the history of this planet. None have sacrificed more to bring freedom and hope to the rest of the world.

The media of the day portrayed the Tet Offensive to be a disaster of biblical proportions for the U.S. military. Military history, however, tells a different story (no surprise there). NRO had a link to this site:
The summary of the Wikipedia entry on the Tet offensive captures the current view of military historians, even if it is quite different from the conventional wisdom of the Boomer editors and producers who set the agenda in the mainstream media:

The Tet Offensive can be considered a crushing military defeat for the Communist forces, as neither the Viet Cong nor the North Vietnamese army achieved any of their tactical goals. Furthermore, the operational cost of the offensive was dangerously high, with the Viet Cong essentially crippled by the huge losses inflicted by South Vietnamese and other Allied forces. Nevertheless, the Offensive is widely considered a turning point of the war in Vietnam, with the NLF and PAVN winning an enormous psychological and propaganda victory. Although US public opinion polls continued to show a majority supporting involvement in the war, this support continued to deteriorate and the nation became increasingly polarized over the war.[1] President Lyndon Johnson saw his popularity fall sharply after the Offensive, and he withdrew as a candidate for re-election in March of 1968. The Tet Offensive is frequently seen as an example of the value of propaganda, media influence and popular opinion in the pursuit of military objectives.

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